Pope Francis officiated at St. Peter’s Basilica on Catholic Holy Thursday, praising doctors, nurses and priests who risk their lives to help the victims of the new coronavirus by calling them “saints next door.”
On Holy Thursday liturgy, St. Peter’s Basilica is usually crowded with 10,000 people, cardinals, bishops and ordinary faithful people.
Yesterday, due to restrictions on the new coronavirus, only about 20 people, priests, nuns and a choir with a smaller number of musicians were present. All of them followed the measures on social distancing.
The ceremony was broadcast live on television and the internet.
Pope Francis praised those, including priests, who, as he said, risk their lives to help the victims of the coronavirus.
“These days, more than 60 (priests) have died here in Italy while caring for patients in hospitals,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church said.
“Together with the doctors and nurses, they are the saints next door.”